Work shop IV

Mark Herron, “Black women struggle impact in sports”

Conflicts from an athletic standpoint. Serena Williams has been receiving backlash for her catsuit from audiences saying it was too exposing. Brittney Griner is a WNBA player who is lesbian and gets referred to as masculine. Gabby Douglas is a gymnast who also has a strong body structure and looked at as manly. How these athletes struggled with getting sponsors and endorsements, do to not meeting the beauty standards of a female.

Focusing on the different forms of oppression they faced regarding gender, sexuality, and race. What events happen that are evident to unfairness or oppression. Female athletes that made a difference. The timeline of events that occurred to make progress. Fashion/ beauty standards of athletic African American women.

Alyssa Smith “A Black Woman Runs the Black Panthers”

This research essay explores the impact of the only woman who ever became the leader of the Black Panther Party. She joined the Black Panthers in 1968 doing small work, like cleaning weapons and selling the official Black Panther newspaper. She rose through the ranks, opening the eyes movement to the misogyny linked to the group, even stating that women were believed to be irrelevant by the party, despite their front claiming that black is beautiful. Women in the Black Panther Party were treated incredibly poorly. They were physically abused when they “disrespected” male coworkers, exploited sexually, and had their ability to do tasks belittled constantly. Elaine Brown, at the time, didn’t identify as a feminist because that title was associated almost exclusively with white, middle class women, but it was apparent to her that the misogyny of the Panthers was so wide spread that even the women were chauvinist against themselves. Despite the group being paramilitary, where everyone is simply taking orders, many of the women saw themselves as below their male leaders. When Huey P. Newton fled to Cuba, Brown took charge, leading the party away from the sexism it once considered part of its foundation.

Rajani Subramanian “The Foundations Behind Montgomery Bus Boycott”

In order to understand the Montgomery Bus Boycott, it is important to take in consideration the process behind the movement. From meetings held by the MIA (Montgomery Improvement Association), to Ms. Georgia Gilmore’s “The Club From Nowhere”. In my paper I want to explore how different women held positions of importance and what their role in the boycott was. My thesis will explore how black women helped build a movement even though they were not given much credit or publicity. Not many women were put in positions of power (for example, MLK was the MIA leader), however women led through empowering others to do their best. Most big events have a face, in the example of the bus boycott, it is Rosa Parks. But there are many stories of women who have faced injustices riding buses, for example, Claudette Colvin was kicked off the bus line nine months before Parks was. In response to this, many leaders within that community protested, but they found out she was pregnant, and action was not further pursued.

In my essay I will examine how with under the constraints of class, sex and gender black women were the wheels of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Although this is related to the Civil Rights Movement in large, I will be specifically focusing on the bus boycott.

Ousmane Sy, “Calling Whom? A case study of the Galpin Call-In”

Racism has often taken precedent over sexism within the Black community. Throughout this course we have analyzed how the role of Black Women is often secondary in many cases, whether it is in movements or their marital lives. This often leads to the exclusion of the Black women in many aspects of politics, economics and mobilization for activism. By using oral history. I will examine the absence of Black women within the Galpin call-in. The paper will be centered around 5 or more interviews conducted with Black women who did, and those who did not, participate in the event. The purpose of the research is to show the absence of Black women in the 2018 Galpin Call-in. By doing so I call attention to the historic tendency for one to downplay the important role of Black women in activism.

Kidi Tafesse, “The Development of Black feminism alongside the struggle for black liberation: The Elaine Brown story”

This paper will be assessing the life and work of Elaine Brown to assess the development of her feminist ideals through the struggles she faced within her efforts to bring justice and equality for black people by joining the Black liberation Struggle. Brown was the first leader of the Black Panther Party (BPP) so hers is a story of success; however, she often expressed her dismay and observation towards the male-dominated movement that was seeking to liberate black folk during the liberation struggle. She brought her ideals to life not only through activism but also through different forms of art such as music and literature. This paper will be analyzing her different works such as “A Taste of Power”to understand how her conceptualization of freedom was developed as a black woman.

This analysis is limited in its external validity, since it will only be providing one woman’ s experience in depth. However, providing insight into one of the most important contributors to the Black liberation Struggle should help in understanding what being a black woman in that era alongside the different liberation movements looks like.

Thus, this research paper will first summarize her contributions whilst assessing their influence on the Black Freedom struggle but quickly move on to her personal development while going through this process and the ways in which she adopted black feminist ideals that developed together with her efforts to fix some of the systematic forms of oppression that Black people faced in the United States.

Angela Danso Gyane, “SAY MY NAME!! SAY MY NAME!!!- A look at activism in the Sandra Bland Protests”

I am looking at the Sandra Bland story including a look at the activism that took place. I will also look at the response to the video being released and its effects on protests. I am also analyzing how the protests (Physical presence) were at a smaller scale than those for Trayvon Martin and other males who had suffered similar fates. I will also look at the works of Kimberly Crenshaw and others regarding the disparities between police brutality against black men and black women. The reaction of the public and accounting for how the hashtag #Justiceforsandy and #sayhername were used. The reaction and actions of that specific jail, the county, the sheriff, and prominent members of society. Sandra Bland was also a Black Lives Matter activist so I am looking at the support of that movement overall and to see if individual organizations joined in as a support system. I will compare her circumstances with other black women whose experiences with police brutality were not as publicized.

Workshop III

Workshop III

Brian Lief “Equal Pay for Women: Venus Williams, Serena Williams, and Other Female Athletes Fight for Equal Pay”

I am focusing on the efforts by female African American athletes to fight for pay equality in athletics. I am focusing specifically on Venus and Serena Williams, as well as a few other athletes that have been active in this movement. Venus and Serena Williams have spent much of their tennis careers speaking out about pay inequality in their sport, and other sports as well. Their success in tennis and their fame have helped contribute to this message being spread throughout the media. Their efforts have included Venus Williams protesting the pay disparity between the men’s and women’s prize money for the tennis tournament Wimbledon. Serena Williams has contributed to the effort by writing opinion pieces in magazines. I will also look at how inequality between genders in athletics and contributed to pay inequality. While Venus and Serena Williams have been very active in this movement, there are other female African American athletes that have also been involved. I will cover some of these athletes as well, while mostly focusing on Venus and Serena Williams. I will look at journals, newspaper articles, and interviews to research this.

Dani Montgomery, “Black Lives Matter and the Influence, Impact, and Visibility of Black Women”

This historiographical essay examines the involvement of women in the Black Lives Matter Movement. The movement was created by black women (Alicia Garza, Patrisse Collors, and Opal Tometi) and the goal of the essay is to properly convey their impact and experiences in relation to the movement itself. Secondary sources such as From Black Lives Matter to Black LiberationandMaking All Black Lives Matterwill be compared and contrasted in order to highlight how Black Lives Matter potentially disregards, harms, or empowers and uplifts black women. The movement has changed since its official founding in 2013 and the essay will serve as a foundation for how different works and authors present these changes, finding the correlation between these structural changes and black women and their constant struggle. News coverage will also be presented in addition to the works from major authors, specifically the coverage of violence that impacts black communities. This is important when analyzing Black Lives Matter because that is the exact reason the movement was created in the first place.

Camryn Pollard, “Marissa Alexander: Good or Bad from the eye of the public”

Marissa Alexander is being prosecuted for shooting a warning shot at her husband after he threathened to put his hands on her. Now, when I write this paper, I’m going to talk about Marisaa Alexander’s case and the movements that back her up while going through this trial. I would also include how she used the stand your ground rule and how it affected her in the courtroom. Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison back in 2012 but was recently released in 2017. Overall, she didn’t deserve to get any type of sentence but taking into consideration that she’s a black woman, it made things appear to be much worse.

Tori Smith” Ida. B Wells Roll in the Black Freedom Struggle Movement Combating Gender and White Supremacy”


Thesis: Ida B Wells contribution to society post slavery was one that was defiantly against the oppression and brutality black people faced. Wells focused on absolute advancement of black people and women, not just economically, but politically and socially as well. Being a self-made black woman, Ida B. Wells took agency in her position in society to better herself and her community by publishing numerous works reflecting her activism. My study will be dedicated to evaluating her activism while battling the intersectionality of being a black woman in America.


Black Women and Student Activism and the College of Wooster

This post is partly inspired by recent student activism at the College of Wooster, represented collectively by the Galpin Call-in, as well more recently students, especially students of color’s concerns about campus climate and diversity within the student body and faculty. As some of you might remember, there was also student protest (supported by faculty and staff) when a trustee made some problematic comments during fall 2016 and the accompanying letter from faculty of color. It’s also inspired by Madelyn’s post about the importance of strategizing and organizing. We’ve discussed a lot of this in class, though mainly about the past and not at the College of Wooster.

Of course, many of you know about the Galpin Call-in, and may have participated in it. But you should also know that black students , especially black women are responsible for the MLK Day celebration, which the College inaugurated in January 2014.

In the past, Susan Lee (a black alum), then an assistant dean (I might be wrong her title)/dean of multiculturalism, and co-director of what was then called the Center for Diversity and Global Engagement, held a MLK Celebration at the College that spanned the entire week.

Lee’s MLK events were often under attended and the same people, such as myself, other faculty of color and allies, supported it. The College, though it paid for it, did not support it the way it does now.  A major difference is canceling of classes, formally inviting the College and surrounding community to participate, and holding these events, etc . . . the day.  The point here is, while cancelling class for a week is untenable, that the College cancels classes for a full day now is demonstrative of the College’s full support.

Certainly, black faculty, staff, and allies among faculty and staff played a role in the establishment of this tradition at the College. But arguably, it would not have happened if several black women, such as Deja Moss, President of the BSA, (and maybe a couple of black men) did come to a faculty meeting in fall 2013 and eloquently explain why having a MLK Day, cancelling class, etc . . . was important not only to them but also the College of Wooster. This set the stage for faculty and others to carry their voices across in the faculty meeting once they left.  Put another way, they strategized, organized, and coordinated with faculty and staff, but ultimately, it was their work and voices that pulled it off.


Workshop II

Workshop II

Andrew Aldridge, “Killing Me Softly: An Observation of Hip Hop from a Feminist Lens”

This paper examines various ways women of color have fought against their portrayal in the male dominated hip hop culture, particularly their roles as music video dancers, models, and seuxalized objects. While my essay navigates questions of trying to combine feminism and hip hop, it is mainly concerned with how viewing hip-hop from a feminist perspective might enhance conversations surrounding race, class, gender, and sexuality. By examining the dichotomy between conscious and commercial rap, observing various approaches to combating sexism within the genre from Queen Latifah, Sistah Souljah, Eve, and Lauryn Hill, whose approaches differed from other artists like Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown, who mainly embodied tropes of black female hypersexuality,as well as considering the work of scholars and poets, this essay aims to add to the dialogue about the intersection of women, rap, and hip-hop feminism.

Abby Blinka, “Revolutionary Litigation: Black Women’s Work as Cause Lawyers in the Black Freedom Struggle”

My proposed final paper is on black women’s expansion of roles in the black freedom struggle, beyond the work of activists, protest organizers, and intellectuals. Specifically, this paper will emphasize black women lawyers in the twentieth century who worked against racism and sexism through litigation. This expansion of roles included women such as Constance Baker Motley, Pauli Murray, and Kimberlé Crenshaw who all had different goals and varying approaches but are were all based in legal processes. By emphasizing the legal process, that is how​the law is made rather than simply the law itself, this paper will focus on the history of black women as agents of legislative change while navigating politics of race, gender, and class.

Madelyn Cobb, “Capitalism v. Communism”

Why haven’t more radical, progressive movements lasted? In this paper I will be researching radical, progressive movements ran by black female communists and their attempts for equality and attempting to answer why these movements were not publicized, are not largely remembered today, and why they did not work.

A’Janay Nicholson, “The exclusion of Women from the Million Man March”

Black men and women have been facing social, economic, and political issues since being brought to America. If they both are receiving unjust treatment from the world then how is it that Black women were excluded from the Million Man March on October 16, 1965? The Million Man March was organized to get Black issues back on the nation’s political agenda and shed light upon issues affecting the Black community. Issues like unemployment rates, poverty rates, unjust treatment from law enforcement, and prenatal care for Black women and kids because inner city hospitals were closing. Even though Women were told to stay home, they served as the backbone of the march. There were some influential women that spoke at the march and played a big role behind the scenes such as Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, National Council of Negro President Dr. Betty Shabazz, Tynnetta Muhammad, E. Faye Williams and many more. You also had other influential Black women such as Angela Davis, who opposed the march because she thought justice cannot be served by countering a distorted and racist view of black manhood with a narrowly sexist vision of men standing “a degree above women.” Dr. Julianne Malveaux also publicly questioned why women were not invited. Looking at different primary and secondary sources helped discover different and new perspectives and interpretations about the Million Man March and the exclusion of Women. Coming into this research paper I assumed that Black women faced the same factors as men during this time. However, after analyzing articles, essays, speeches, and movies, I discovered that Black women face the same and maybe even more prejudices than their male counterparts. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to see a group of Black males united, hugging, and treating their neighbor like their brother, but we can’t forget about the women who were going through similar and in some cases worse experiences than the Black men.

Juwan Shabazz, “Black Nationalism: An Analysis of Ula Taylor’s Work and The Contributions Made by Women of Color”

My essay will be split into three subsections where I will focus on analyzing two books written by Ula Y. Taylor: The Veiled Garvey and The Promise of Patriarchy: Women and the Nation of Islam. The goal of my paper will be centered towards answering larger questions around what black nationalism is, and how black women have played a role in its formation. Through using the books written by Ula Taylor, I will center the scope of my paper on the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League) and the Nation of Islam, and how black women have contributed to each movement respectfully. While Ula Taylor’s work will be incredibly important to my paper, I will also use several other pieces of work to help expand upon her ideas. In particular, I will use articles written by Karen Adler and Keisha Blain that help to further expand upon Taylor’s research while also providing a broader depth of scholarship on the topic at large.

Workshop I

Paige Clay, “The mammy caricature through film and the responses of Black women”

For my final paper I’ve decided to explore the idea of the mammy caricature through film. I’ve also ties this to our class be incorporating how black women have responded to these false assumptions. This paper will focus on six different films; Gone with the wind, Imitation game, The Birth of a Nation, the help, Big Mommas house, and Madea. I will analyze how the idea of the mammy is played out in all the films while also understanding what these stereotypes are doing to damage black women. Further more I will use first hand experiences from black women and talk about how they combat these negative stereotypes. This will also include taking about the ways in which they’ve responded and how the black freedom movement. I choose to write my final paper on this because these false representations have been diminishing black women for years. It is important to understand why and how these stereotypes are prevalent in society, so I’ve chosen to focus on this through film.

Adam Clark, “African American Women and their role on the march on Washington”

For this paper, I will be looking at how African American women played a role in the march on Washington. As we have been talking about for the entire year so far we have seen women playing huge roles in the movement. They were even involved in the march on Washington. However, their voices were silenced again due to men wanting to take all the glory. In this paper, I will be looking at how these4 women affected the march and what roles they played in the march. I will also be looking at how the women felt about being left out of the march.m Lastly I will be looking at different grassroots movements to try and connect them to the march on Washington.

Sarem Kornma, “The Me Too Movement: a Reconceptualization of Sexual Harassment”

My essay will focus on the #MeToo movement with the overall focus of  black woman through the intended lense of its founder Tarana Burke, a black female activist from The Bronx, who started the movement in 1997. There are two eras of #MeToo movement. First is when it initially began within the context of Tarana Burke’s experiences and and The second being within the context of the recent presidential elections and all of the allegations that have come with it in addition to the hollywood centered Harvey weinstein cases. This essay will not only explore Tarana efforts to put black women in the focus of the movements and how that focus has shifted but also, it will explore the effects of the rise of social media within the last two decades and how it has impacted the conversation around intersectionality, and how it has impacted organization for the #MeToo movement as a whole. I will explore questions like how is justice conceptualized in the minds of black women during the #MeToo era, and who is leading the organizations? Is there discourse happening about intersectional issues and if so what are the solutions being offered? Interestingly Tarana Burke is behind the documentary Surviving R kelly, with this being said I will also delve into her perception of the unique place of disadvantage that black woman have within their intersectionality.

Is Prison Necessary?


Yesterday in class, as we were discussing Carruthers’s work, we had brief discussion of Robin D. G. Kelley’s “Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination,”  and I claimed that the current Abolition Movement represented such a case.

In an article in today’s New York Times, an article, “Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind,” Gilmore,  geographer and prison abolitionist,  elaborates on this issue.

“Bronx Slave Market”

The article “Bronx Slave Market” by Ella Baker and Marvel Cooke in The Crisis, the NAACP’s magazine has played a critical role in mobilizing black workers, civil rights leaders, and radical activists. This afternoon, we’ve been discussing the experiences and labor organizing of black women domestics as represented in a variety of organizations, including National Domestics Workers of America led by Dorothy Bolden, Geraldine Roberts’s Domestic Workers of America, the National Committee on Household Employment, and the Household Technicians of America.


Primary Sources/Second Sources

Making Sense of Primary and Secondary Sources

Primary sources–sources that are contemporary with a particular time period can come in any form.  These sources might be film, text, archival material–organization documents, personal papers, governmental documents, as well as newspapers, magazines etc . . .

Secondary sources, on the other hand, are books, articles, essays that stem from some kind of evidentiary base, often primary sources.

The main difference, however, is that primary sources are produced during that period under study, so that if you’re writing about the 1950s then your primary sources (excepting oral histories) derive from the 1950s. This also means that books, articles, etc . . .  might be used as primary sources.


“What Did Cedric Robinson Mean by Racialism Capitalism”

Robin D. G. Kelley, “What Did Cedric Robinson Mean by Racialism Capitalism”

“So what did Robinson mean by “racial capitalism”? Building on the work of another forgotten black radical intellectual, sociologist Oliver Cox, Robinson challenged the Marxist idea that capitalism was a revolutionary negation of feudalism. Instead capitalism emerged within the feudal order and flowered in the cultural soil of a Western civilization already thoroughly infused with racialism. Capitalism and racism, in other words, did not break from the old order but rather evolved from it to produce a modern world system of “racial capitalism” dependent on slavery, violence, imperialism, and genocide. Capitalism was “racial” not because of some conspiracy to divide workers or justify slavery and dispossession, but because racialism had already permeated Western feudal society.”